The Zeebebe review
New Procol will please old fans, but won't win many new ones
If you look through the reviews here, you will see many longtime Procol fans are enjoying this album, the first since 1991's The Prodigal Stranger. I don't hear the big improvement over Prodigal that a lot of others do. This album doesn't have the glossy Album-Oriented-Rock production that Prodigal did, but overall I found that album's songs catchier. It's great to hear Gary Brooker, one of the best voices in rock, again, and I hope I don't have to wait another dozen years for their next album. But Well's on Fire doesn't come close to the five stars I'd give to the Whiter Shade of Pale or Salty Dog albums. If you're not already a Procol fan, this album probably won't make you one, and isn't the place to start exploring this band.
Pianist/singer Brooker, organist Matthew Fisher, and lyricist Keith Reid remain from early Procol, joined by Prodigal drummer Mark Brzezicki, bassist Matt Pegg (son of Fairport Convention's Dave), and guitarist Geoff Whitehorn (who can do a decent Robin Trower impersonation). There's no standout track here, no song that really makes your ears jump to attention. My favorite tracks are the jittery Shadow Boxed, bluesy The VIP Room and Every Dog Will Have His Day, and classic rock So Far Behind. Reid's lyrics aren't as off-the-wall as in the past, but he provides some nice social commentary on tracks like The Question and This World Is Rich. A couple of the more thoughtful lyrics are matched with boring music, though, such as The Emperor's New Clothes and the 9/11-inspired The Blink of an Eye. Weisselklenzenacht ends the album with a big, building Fisher instrumental, in the manner of Repent Walpurgis.
Replicated from the Zeebebe site
Procol Harum albums